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Discussion Starter #1
Those who have seen my posts before know that I am not afraid of basket cases. My first tractor was purchased with a tree growing up through the frame. We had to cut the tree with a chainsaw to be able to take the tractor home. Well, my first experience with a Zero Turn mower was not much different. My brother purchased 2 Cub Cadet M60's at a government surplus auction with the idea of using two to make one. After unloading from the freight carrier and realizing that one was complete, he offered me the second.

i have attached some pictures to show what it looked like when I started ...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I started by stripping it all down so that I could pressure wash it and get the leaves, grass, and pine shadows out of every corner. I have included a ton of pictures in case anyone else has one of these beasts and needs to see where something goes, or how it connects. I will say one thing at this point. These things are not that difficult to work on. Everything is fairly accessible, and functionally speaking, it's operation is pretty basic. There is an electric clutch for controlling the power to the mower deck, and two variable hydraulic pumps, one for each hydraulic wheel motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Now that everything has been pressure washed, I took another series of pictures that show all of the mechanical, and electrical connections.
 

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Okay, this is where it gets fun. I flushed the fuel tanks, cleaned the carb and started the Kohler motor. It started up fine, and within a few minutes I had discovered the real problems with this mower.

The right wheel motor would not turn, the left wheel motor hoses were leaking, and the electric clutch for the blades was gone.

I started by removing the wheel motors and called my friends at Manchester Hydraulics to see about rebuilding the wheel motors and pumps. Manchester called me a short time later and informed me that the right wheel motor was destroyed. I am not sure what they had run into, but the inner shaft was broken in three pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After pricing out wheel motors at several locations I walked away dejected thinking I would not be able to resurrect this beast without costing me nearly $3K, much more than I wanted to spend.

It was about this time that I went back to searching on Surplus Center and found that they sell pumps and wheel motors. They did not have a wheel motor that matched exactly, but they had one that was close. I also checked out their piston pumps and found one that was a little larger, but had the same bolt pattern.

I have included some pictures to show the differences. As you can see from the pictures, I had to manufacture my own centering linkage because the pumps did not come with the centering linkage. In addition, I had to purchase new pulleys and bore them to fit the shafts on the pumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was also very disappointed with the control handles. You could tell that someone had continually tightened the bolts on the handles until they had crushed the tubes. From the pictures you will see that I fabricated new ends for the handles and shortened the handles to account for the material I was adding. While I was at it, I made a set for my brothers M60.
 

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The following pictures show the installed pumps and wheel motors. Due to the slight change in the pulley sizes I had to go with a slightly longer drive belt, but at the end, both wheels were spinning. One forward and one backwards. One thing I noted about the white pumps is that they did not have a method for swapping the hoses like the hydrogear pumps did. This forced me to cross the hoses for one motor. Cub Cadet doesn't give much slack on their hoses, so the final installation was very tight. I will say at this point that the short hose eventually failed and when it did, I changed it with a long hose and that helped a great deal.

You will also notice that the wheel motors that I used do not have brake assemblies. I have designed a parking brake attachment to resolve this issue, but so far we have been able to avoid any issues by using wheel chocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Now that I had a driveable zero turn with two new pumps and two new wheel motors for about $1000 I was ready to focus on the mower deck. As you can see from the pictures below, this deck had seen better days. There were chunks missing, wheels broken, etc.
 

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I started by disassembling the deck and taking measurements for where I thought things needed to be.
 

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So now this is where the fun and fabrication starts. I am always collecting scrap metal at my buddies machine shop, and a lot of it came in very handy for this job. I started by repairing all of the anti-scalping wheel brackets, and the brackets for the rear and front rollers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I also added an embellishment to the "Tank" that I couldn't resist. My wife loves the zero turn and has thanked me time and time again for re-building it. She used to always complain about her arms after cutting the grass with a conventional lawn tractor. We usually split the duty, I cut the fields with the Deere 955 using an estate mower, and she would cut the lawn grass with a conventional lawn tractor. She can now finish both the lawn and the fields in less time by herself than we used to be able to do together.

As you can tell from the picture dates, this mower was rebuilt last year. This winter I rebuilt the engine due to a main seal oil leak, and also replaced the deck spindles. I have to say, I still love this beast and hate when my wife grabs the keys and runs outside to cut the grass. I wanted to drive it ... dang it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My brothers is doing well. I don't think he has gotten around to many of the fixes that I have done, but he did start off with a better base. His drive motors and pumps were fine, but his deck did have some of the same issues.
 

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Sorry to necro this thread. But what motors did you end up purchasing? I've got an M72 with some failing pumps and motors.
 
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